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Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

ADMINISTRATIVE RULES 35 TO 59

Rule 57. Custody and Disposal of Exhibits in Trial Courts.

   

During the time a case is pending in the trial court, all exhibits submitted at trial, hearing or other proceeding shall be maintained by the court, except that the court may order exhibits requiring special security handling (firearms, drugs, other contraband, etc.) be maintained in the custody of a law enforcement agency or other appropriate custodian.

Upon the final conclusion of a case in the trial court, exhibits will be held at the court until such time as the appeal period has expired.  At that time, the clerk shall notify the parties in writing that they have thirty (30) days from the date of said notice to retrieve the exhibits from the court.  The notice shall indicate that if the exhibits are not retrieved within that time, the clerk will dispose of them in such manner as the clerk deems appropriate, which may include destruction of same.  If the exhibits are not retrieved by the time specified in the notice, the clerk shall dispose of the exhibits by destruction or in some other appropriate manner.

If an appeal is filed, the exhibits shall remain in the custody of the trial court pending resolution of the appeal unless the supreme court orders that the exhibits be transferred for purpose of the appeal.  Upon receipt of the mandate from the supreme court, and if no further proceedings are required, the trial court clerk shall follow the procedure set forth in the preceding paragraph to notify the parties that exhibits may be disposed of if they are not retrieved within thirty (30) days.

The court, in its discretion, may refrain from disposing of an exhibit if it is deemed to have some intrinsic, historical or other value of significance.

In criminal cases, the State and the defense will be notified to retrieve the exhibits in the manner described above.  If the exhibits are not retrieved within the period specified in the notice, a show cause hearing shall be scheduled to determine why the exhibits have not been retrieved.  Following the show cause hearing, the court may order the exhibits destroyed or disposed of in some other appropriate manner.

Nothing in this rule shall be construed to conflict with the procedures established in RSA 595-A:6 or any other general or special law providing for the preservation, disposal, forfeiture or destruction of particular types of property.

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